What are Modern Oral Products?
Our Modern Oral Products (MOPs), under our Velo brand, are pouches which contain high purity nicotine, water, and other high-quality ingredients, including cellulose fibres, flavouring and sweeteners.
Consumers place the disposable pouch between their gum and upper lip, typically for around 30 minutes, during which nicotine and flavours are released and the nicotine is absorbed through the oral mucosa.
Watch the video below to find out more about Modern Oral Products and the science behind them.
Laboratory chemical studies for Velo (without tobacco) show it produces even lower levels of toxicants than snus and substantially lower levels than cigarette smoke. Meanwhile, toxicology tests assessing the biological effects of Velo on human cells, compared to snus and cigarette, show it has little effect relative to snus and cigarettes1,2.
On the basis of our evidence and informed by the evidence regarding snus, switching completely to MOPs can be expected to reduce the risk of smoking-related disease when compared to continued smoking. That is why we are investing so much in refining and improving these innovative products. This is part of our commitment to providing adult consumers with a wide range of enjoyable and less risky* products.
Traditional oral products: Snus and the Swedish experience
Snus is a traditional smokeless tobacco product that is placed between the lip and gums and held in the mouth for around 30 minutes, during which time it slowly releases nicotine; nothing is inhaled.
It has been available in Sweden for 200 years, and, although popularity waned when cigarettes became available, it enjoyed a resurgence there in the 1970s. Although Sweden now has the highest consumption of smokeless tobacco per capita in the world, Swedish men have Europe’s lowest death rate attributable to tobacco and the lowest incidence of lung cancer and other tobacco-related diseases of nearly every country in the developed world. For example, in 2020, age-standardised lung cancer incidence for men was estimated to be 17.2 per 100,000 in Sweden compared to 35.2 per 100,000 in the UK. Oropharyngeal (throat) cancer incidence was 3.9 versus 4.1 per 100,000, respectively3.
Furthermore, Sweden now has the lowest male smoking prevalence in Europe, with smoking prevalence of just 5% among Swedish men compared with the EU average of over 25%.
Having studied the scientific evidence, the UK Royal College of Physicians has concluded that using nicotine-containing smokeless products is substantially less risky than smoking cigarettes4. In addition, it says they are not associated with respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are less likely to cause cardiovascular disease, and could be used as part of an approach to reduce the projected harm caused by tobacco.
- Bishop E, East N, Bozhilova S, et al. An approach for the extract generation and toxicological assessment of tobacco-free ‘modern’ oral nicotine pouches. Food Chem Toxicol 2020; 145: 111713. https:// doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2020.111713.
- East N, Bishop E, Breheny D, Gaca M, Thorne D. A screening approach for the evaluation of tobacco-free ‘modern oral’ nicotine products using real time cell analysis. Toxicol Rep 2021; 8: 481-488.
International Agency for Research into Cancer. Cancer Today. https://gco.iarc.fr/today/online-analysis-map?v=2020&mode= population&mode_population=continents&population=900 &populations= 900&key=asr&sex=0&cancer =39&type =0&statistic=5&prevalence=0&population_group=0&ages_ group=0&ages_group=17&nb_items= 10&group_cancer=1&include_nmsc=1&include_nmsc_other= 1&projection=natural-earth&color_palette=default&map_ scale=quantile&map_nb_colors=5&continent=0&show_ranking =0&rotate=%5B10%2C0%5D
- Royal College of Physicians. Nicotine without smoke: Tobacco harm reduction. London: RCP, 2016